Blocked Tear Ducts - When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor if you or your
- Swelling and redness of the eyelid, the eyelid
lining, the white part of the eye (sclera ), or the tissue around the eye
(usually just on one side).
- A fever and symptoms of an eye
infection, such as eye drainage and swelling, redness, and tenderness alongside
the nose. A baby may be fussy and may rub the affected eye
- Difficulty seeing or difficulty moving one or both
- Eye pain or discomfort.
- Excessive tearing in one
or both eyes for more than a week.
The following signs may point to other problems with the
tear duct. Call your doctor if you have or if your baby has:
- Thick, yellow drainage in the corner or on the
surface of the eye.
- Eyelids that are matted by mucus in the
- A bluish swelling inside and below the lower eyelid (dacryocystocele). In babies, this swelling may appear
several days after birth. In adults, this may appear during a period of
- A reddish swelling inside and below the lower
eyelid. The eye may have crusty mucus drainage. And the area below the eyelid
may be painful.
Call your doctor if you notice excessive tearing in one or
both eyes and have:
- Pain, tenderness, or a feeling of pressure in
your face and forehead over the area of your sinuses.
- Bloody nasal drainage that
lasts for more than a day.
Watchful waiting for 1 to 2 weeks is
appropriate in most cases of blocked tear ducts in babies. They usually clear
up on their own or with treatment before the baby's first birthday.
Watchful waiting for 1 to 2 weeks also is appropriate for adults with a
blocked tear duct without signs of infection. The condition may clear up on its
Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you develop excessive
tearing in one or both eyes and you:
- Had a recent injury to your face or
- Have signs of infection (such as thick, yellow drainage or
crusted mucus in the eye).
- Had recent nasal or sinus
Who to see
A child or an
adult with a blocked tear duct may see:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.